Friday, 30 October 2009

Needwood trip to School Camps / Sailing at Chasewater

Sailing at Chasewater, Cannock.

September 25th 1965. The first of my three outings to Chasewater, not knowing what to expect ! An adventure on the High Seas, well near enough, it was a reservior.

We arrived at our Chalet (the next 2 years, we we're camping in tents) which was our lodging for the duration of the course, one for the Boys and one for the Girls. Two of our Teachers, Mr Williams and Miss Allen were our Supervisors for our week stay.

After breakfast, is the daily inspection of the camps by the Camp Warden and then the ritual of raising the Union Jack up the flag-pole ( we didn't have the 'Jolly Roger' then !).

Our class room was the Mess (where we have our meals, study and evening activities with other school childrens). Now to learn how to sail a boat, what fun ! Oh, there's a big Bell hanging from the roof, and a board with the rules (punishments) of the house by the code of the '7' Bells ? Crikey, talking about walking the plank !

The life-jacket we were given to wear was heavy, bulky and large. I thought it was more than likely to drown us than it was meant to keep us afloat ! One day to my suprise, my boat capsized while practicing a maneuver, ditching my crew-woman and myself into the water. Wow, it was warm, luckily i was standing in 3 feets of water. WE'RE SAVED !!!

The Seven Bells ; The first bong of the bell did not take long to be activated, when at meal time on the first day, it had got rather noisy that the Camp Warden stood up and rang the bell. BONG ! not once, not twice but three times 'code 3', the Three Hills (i think) we had to run there and back, panting and out of breath ! More like climbing Ben Nevis !! Another time, some lads played a prank by getting us up early one morning, the Camp Warden wasn't best impress and gave us 7 Bells ! We had to run the full circumference of Chasewater Reservior ! Ouch !!

I was suprised to receive a letter during the week while i was at Chasewater ! It came from 2 of my best friends, they managed to acquire a typewriter to composed the letter (as seen below, naturally in good English, i wonder if their grammar had improved since !) and had it posted to me. I was really chuffed. Thanks pals.

Footnote ;
To Brian. Suprise ! Yes, i do still have the letter that you and Glyn wrote to me as you can see above. You must have been about 12 then, just a nipper ! Thanks mate.

To Glyn. If you are reading this, get in touch mate, long time no see !!!

If anybody would like to write to me about there time at Needwood or trips with photos to be included on Needwood News, please do send them and i will be happy to add them on to the Blog.

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Halifax, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom